It was Christmas Eve, at three o'clock in the afternoon, and in the city of London it was very cold and almost dark. There was no sunlight because of the thick fog in the air.
In the centre of the city two names were painted on the door of an old building: Scrooge and Marley. Jacob Marley had dyed seven years ago.
Scrooge didn't like people. He didn't care about people. He only cared about only one thing: money!
He had no friends. Nobody visited his house. Nobody said hello to him as he walked through the street.
But Scrooge wanted his life to be this way. He liked writing down amounts of money people owed him and people had given him in his account books and working in his office - even in Christmas. `Nonsense! Rubbish! Christmas is nonsense. It's humbug! Bah!' Scrooge said.
It was cold outside, but the fire in the fireplace was very small. The door of Scrooge's office was open, and he could see into the next room, which was very small and cold too. Bob Cratchit worked there. He could not have a bigger fire because Scrooge kept most of the coal in his own office. And Scrooge wouldn't let Bob have another piece of coal. So Bob continued working for Scrooge.
Suddenly Fred, Scrooge's nephew opened the door and invited him to have dinner with Fred's family. `Never! You mustn't say anything more, nephew! Goodbye!' said Scrooge, and continued working.
As Fred left, a gentleman came in. He asked money for the poor people who lived in prisons and workhouses. `Good. Put the poor people in workhouses. There are too many people in the world; tell them to go away and die. Goodbye!' So the gentleman left.
At last, Scrooge decided it was time to stop work. So he and Bob went to their houses and eat dinner (Bob with his family and Scrooge alone).
Suddenly, Jacob Marley's ghost appeared next to the fire. He said three other ghosts were going to appear that night: Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. They were going to help him to be good and kind to other people.
Ghost of Christmas Past showed Scrooge how was Christmas as a boy and as a teenager. They were happy Christmas, bus as Scrooge grew up they became sadder. An hour passed and the ghost was gone, and Scrooge was sleeping in his bed. Scrooge was ready for the following ghost.
Ghost of Christmas Present showed Scrooge how was Christmas in the present, but in other places of different families: the Cratchit's house, Fred's family, and more. Then, they saw two poor children in torn clothes. And he remembered his own words `Put the poor people in workhouses' he had said them to the gentleman. He opened to say something to the ghost but it was no more there. It was the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
This ghost showed Scrooge terrible things: He would dye, and people were happy about this, nobody would care about his death and nobody would go to his funeral. People would steal the thing of his house… Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit's little child, also would die. Scrooge also remembered the words he had said to the gentleman that day `There are too many people in the world; tell them to go away and dye'. He was horrified of himself. To make those things not to happen, Scrooge decided he would live a better life, he would care about people, Christmas and he would think about past, present and future.
Scrooge closed his eyes then opened again. He was in his own bedroom. `Jacob Marley, thank you for sending the three ghosts, thank you for coming to help me'. He said. He was happy. He had a merry Christmas. He helped poor people. He paid a doctor for Tiny Tim and raised the wages of Bob. The gentleman came again, and Scrooge gave him a lot of money. He also bought more coal, and the office was no cold any more.
After the visit of the three ghosts, Scrooge finally was a changed man.
Ebenezer Scrooge: he is a very bad man. He doesn't care what people call him. He doesn't care about people. He doesn't like people. He only cares and loves so much only one thing: money.
Bob Cratchit: a very humble man. He works for Ebenezer Scrooge. He has six children: Martha, Peter, Tiny Tim, Belinda, and two little children more.
Ghost of Christmas Past: it looks like an old man, but it's the same size as a child. Its long hair is white as an old man's hair, but its face and skin is soft and smooth like a child's skin and face. Its arms and hands are strong, but it feet and legs are small. It wears a long white robe. It carries a branch from a green holly tree in his hand. It also carries summer flowers on its robe and a big pointed cap. From the top of the cap comes out a bright light.
Ghost of Christmas Present: it is huge and smiles all the time. It holds a big torch that looks like an animal's horn. A small, bright, red flame burns at the top of it. It has a kind voice and a kind face. It wears a long white and green robe. Its hair is long and brown, but as long as he is with Scrooge it falls and turns white. Around the top of its head there are leaves from a holly tree, and it they have ice.
Ghost of Christmas future: it wears a long black robe which touches the ground. Its head is covered by a large hood. It doesn't speak, and it always points at some place with his finger. It is terrible.
Vocabulary List - Glossary
Inn: A public lodging house serving food and drink to travelers; a hotel.
Coal: A glowing or charred piece of solid fuel. He wouldn't let Bob have any more coal
Humbug: Nonsense; rubbish. Christmas is nonsense is humbug!
Rubbish: Foolish discourse; nonsense. I took the rubbish out of my room.
Carol: A song of praise or joy, especially for Christmas. Some happy boys were singing Christmas carols.
Mad: Suffering from a disorder of the mind; insane. I don't understand… everyone is mad, completely mad!
Churchyard: A yard adjacent to a church, especially a cemetery. They went to the churchyard and saw gravestones with names of people he knew.
Pudding: A sweet dessert, usually containing flour or a cereal product, that has been boiled, steamed, or baked. On that table there was a lot of food: pies, geese, puddings…
Turkey: A large North American bird (Meleagris gallopavo) that has brownish plumage and a bare wattled head and neck and is widely domesticated for food. Yesterday I went to a farm and saw a turkey.
Engagement: The state of being engaged pledged or occupied; specify a pledge to take some one as husband or wife. A month ago we got engaged, Belle.
Nut: An indehiscent, hard-shelled, one-loculated, one-seeded fruit, such as an acorn or hazelnut. Mmm! I want that pie with nuts!
Eldest: Greatest in age or seniority. He talked to his eldest daughter.
Gravestone: A stone laid over, or erected near, a grave, usually with an inscription, to preserve the memory of the dead; a tombstone. At last he saw what was written on the gravestone.
Wrap: To cover, envelop, or encase, as by folding or coiling something about. He wrapped a scarf around his neck.
Robe: outerwear consisting of a long flowing garment used for official or ceremonial occasions. He was wearing a long black robe.
Hood: A loose pliable covering for the head and neck, often attached to a robe or jacket. A large hood covered his face.